Could Chauncey Billups be the next veteran to join the Cleveland Cavaliers? Multiple sources tell WFNY that Billups, a five-time NBA All-Star, spent Tuesday in Cleveland with Cavs head assistant coach Tyronn Lue, ultimately finishing up his trip with a Warehouse District dinner meeting alongside Lue, Cavs general manager David Griffin, head coach David Blatt. This, of course, comes one day after the Cavs contingent met with free agent small forward Shawn Marion.
The nature of any discussions with the Cavs are unclear, but it is believed that Billups, who will be 38 years old by the time the 2014-15 season tips off, is interested in eventually moving into a coaching or executive role once he officially retires. Retiring is the operative word, however, as the 2004 NBA Finals MVP was believed to be in search of another contract as recent as early July, working out in Las Vegas and reportedly looking good despite his age and recent run of injuries.
Billups signed a two-year, $5 million deal to rejoin the Pistons last summer, but played in just 19 games (averaging 3.8 points per game), undergoing surgery to reapair the meniscus in his right knee this past February. He has not played in more than 22 games since his 2010-11 season with the New York Knicks and on June 30, the Pistons announced that they would not be picking up Billups’ team option, making him an unrestricted free agent.
“You don’t want to end the way that my last couple of seasons ended,” Billups told 9News.com this past June. “But I’m back from that now. Just getting older.”
Recently announcing the signings of veteran swingmen Mike Miller and James Jones, the Cavs now have 16 players on their roster, so any addition in a player capacity would likely be delayed. Cleveland is believed to soon be on the receiving end of a trade that would net them Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star power forward Kevin Love, with multiple players being sent to Minnesota. The Cavs were interested in adding Billups to the fold as recent as last season.
Billups’ name was also loosely discussed in Cleveland this past summer as the team was in search of a head coach following the firing of Mike Brown. He was reportedly pursued by Flip Saunders and the Timberwolves to serve as an assistant coach. Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly long been a fan of Billups—those Detroit connections run deep—but belief amongst NBA executives is that the long-time Pistons point guard, who was one of the league’s most outspoken players during the 2011 NBA lockout, has desires to one day be in a league front office, following in the footsteps of friend and idol Joe Dumars.
(Photo by Dan Lippitt/NBAE via Getty Images)